I'm a California girl through and through and Green Goddess is too, which is why I'm totally partial to it as my go-to Spring dressing. But this dressing has been around—by some accounts, since the 1920s when a chef at the Palace Hotel made his West Coast version of the classic French sauce verte. Green Goddess was all the rage right about the time Madonna came out with Material Girl, but, with time, this dressing went the way of shoulder pads and became all but obsolete.
I'm bringing it back in a big way but with a few tweaks, namely making it vegan by adding in avocado in place of mayonnaise and packing it with as many herbs as possible. And, if you're going to make Green Goddess, it is absolutely essential that you serve it with a lettuce worth of it -- one that has a good structure, a nice sweetness, yet is delicate, like Little Gems lettuce.
These lettuces sound more like something out of a Tiffany's catalogue than something out of the garden but trust me that they're more than worthy of their name. I had never had them before I moved to the Bay Area and was immediately in love because they're like an heirloom romaine lettuce with a bit of sweetness and a nice firm crispness that makes for a pretty amazing salad. They're available at most California farmers markets but you can use baby romaine hearts if you can't find them.
pitted and diced
Combine everything except the radishes, carrots, pepitas, and lettuce in a mini food processor and mix until smooth and well combined. Stir in 1/4 water to mellow the flavors and loosen the dressing; set aside at least 10 minutes for flavors to develop.
Can be made up to 1 day ahead; store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Slice the radishes and carrots into paper thin slices using a very sharp knife or a mandolin. To serve, divide lettuce among serving plates, top with radishes, carrots, and pepitas and top with a drizzle of the salad dressing.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp